How To Make a Squirrel Carrier

I've had a few requests of late asking to show how to put together the squirrel carrier I use on hunts.  I've finally found the time to sit down and put my fingers to the keyboard and tell you how it's done.  It's a pretty simple project that won't cost you much coin, and you'll be able to make more than one, so you can share your wealth with your other squirrel hunting buddies.  This isn't something I just came up with, it's something I saw someone else using and decided to use there idea.  I made some modifications along the way to make it my own.  Let's get started.

This post is going to be photo heavy so make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see how to attach the squirrel or squirrels to your carrier!

Everything you'll need can be had at the local hardware store and a Wal-mart or even a local fishing store.  Here's what you'll need:

1.  5/8" Diameter Poplar Dowel Rod (needs to be at least 48" long, buy longer make more!)

2.  1- Fishing stringer of the chain variety

3.  1- Pack of #12 x 1 3/16" eyelet screws

4.  1- Pack of #5 Snap swivels (if you can find larger I suggest you get them)

5.  Some sort of wood-saw (to cut up your dowel)

6.  Sandpaper

Squirrel Carrier Building Supplies

Now that you've acquired all of you kit, it's time to build!  Start by sawing up your Poplar dowel (they only had oak when i stopped in to buy one) into 6 inch sections.  Next you're gonna want to sand it down, especially where you made the cut.  

Measure the Dowel

Cutting the Dowel

Next step is to measure from one end to the 3 inch point.  Make a mark there and that's where you'll put your eyelet screw in at.  You may want to employ a drill here for a pilot hole.  Just make sure that you use a smaller diameter bit than that of the eyelet screw so that it bites into the wood.  

Measuring for Pilot Hole Supplies for Pilot Hole Pilot Hole Drilled

Eyelet Screw Install Eyelet Screw Install 2

Now disassemble your chain fishing stringer by removing the snaps from the chain.  Unhooking the small end will detach your snap from the stringer.  You must first unhook the larger end so that you can unhook the small end.  The small end will take a little more force to come loose.  Might even have to use a pair of needle nose pliers.

Chain Fish Stringer Swivel Chain Fish Stringer Swivel Removal Chain Fish Stringer Removal 2

Here's where your #5 (or larger) Snap swivels come into play.  Unhook the snap end and thread that through your eyelet screw, then snap it back into place.  You then need to run the short snap end of the stringer snap into the eye of the #5 snap swivel. Now re-secure the short end of the snap, then the large end.

Barrel Swivel Install Barrel Swivel Install 2 Completed Squirrel Carrier

You now have a finished squirrel carrier, if this is as far as you want to go.  At this point you are looking at about $.95 per carrier and that's with oak!  If you want to get creative then time to pull out the wood burner.  When I made mine, and others for my squirrel hunting squad I wood-burned everyone's nick name on there carrier.  I also burned in the date of manufacture on one of the round ends.  

Finished Squirrel Carrier Finished Squirrel Carrier 2

 

I'm not quite that artistic, but you can do some really nice designs with a wood-burning kit, like a follower of the journal Matthew did in the pictures below.  I was so impressed with his art work I thought it needed to be shared with our squirrel hunting community.

Matt J Squirrel Carrier 2 Matt J Squirrel Carrier 4 Matt J Squirrel Carrier 3 Matt J Squirrel Carrier Matt J Squirrel Carrier 5

 

I've found over years of usage that the max load for the #5 snap swivel setup is about five eastern gray squirrels before the snap bends to the point of dropping the larger snap.  That's the reason I say go bigger if you can find a bigger snap swivel.  My in the field fix to this is to bypass the #5 snap swivel (if I have more than five squirrels) and hook the large snap in through the eyelet screw.  That set up will hold at least eight (NC limit), and at that point you're getting a pretty hefty load of squirrels!

Squirrel Carrier in Action 2 Squirrel Carrier in Action 3

If you scroll down to the bottom you'll see a series of pictures that show you how to attach the squirrel to the carrier.  Now go get crafty and make some of these up for you and your buddies!

Cutting Slit in Squirrel Foot Complete Blade Pass Through Threading Swivel Through Squirrel Foot Swivel Pass Through Squirrel Carrier in Action

South Bend Deluxe Nine Snap Chain Stringer
South Bend Deluxe Nine Snap Chain Stringer
Sale Price: $3.99
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 6-10 business days
South Bend Snap Swivel Chain Stringer, 46-Inch
South Bend Snap Swivel Chain Stringer, 46-Inch
List Price: $3.29
Sale Price: $2.24
You save: $1.05 (32%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
South Bend Cadmium Plated 9 Snap Swivel Chain Stringer (46-Inch)
South Bend Cadmium Plated 9 Snap Swivel Chain Stringer (46-Inch)
List Price: $4.98
Sale Price: $2.51
You save: $2.47 (50%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 6-10 business days


(Visited 1,472 times, 3 visits today)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

richard roberts May 14, 2016 at 3:17 pm

I like that, already got all that’s needed out in the garage. I’ve been shooting this morning, got a new 452 American from Whitakers, put a 3×9 Nikon AO on it, it likes SK hollow points. The contender pistol likes them too. Good to hear from you, well lets get back at it………

Reply

Nate May 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

That’ll make your project feel like free!

Reply

Gunny May 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

This was Very timely email. Our spring season started today and runs through June 1st. In the winter I wear a vest with a game pouch. This morning I used a piece of string. I have a trip to Lowes planned already.

Thanks for the tip.

Reply

Nate May 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Awesome! I’d love to see how your carrier turns out.

Reply

Gerald May 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Neat idea, thanks for sharing Nate

Reply

Nate May 14, 2016 at 7:54 pm

It’ll fit right in that Ribz pack front pocket for you!

Reply

mikey May 14, 2016 at 8:12 pm

Very nice Nate. Awesome! Sighting in the 452 this weekend. nice art work!!!

Reply

Jim May 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Thanks Nate. I have an old laundry safety pin and I was wondering how to make a carrier. I like your idea a lot. Going to fix one up soon.

Reply

Guy May 16, 2016 at 11:49 am

I have used a stick thru the leg for years, but I will be making my son, myself and a hunting buddy one of these. Season start the 28th of this month here in Mo I got to get started. Great idea.

Reply

Nate May 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I’ve certainly used that method before also, and it works just fine. It’ll be a fun project, and quick too. If you ever forget the new carrier you can always default back to the ole stick through the leg! Thanks for stopping by to read the article.

Reply

Lucky Key May 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm

That’s a great idea. I invented the Squirrel Cleaning Buddy, and ship them out from my shop. Hunters in19 different states are using their “Buddy”, after the hunt. You might think about producing several and selling them. Though it is rather simple to build, you would be surprised how many hunters would rather just buy one, than try to build one. Good luck my friend.

Reply

Leave a Comment